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Castano Galleries records, 1907-1983

Castano Galleries


Collection Information

Size: 30 Microfilm reels

Summary: 20 feet, chiefly gallery records and some personal papers of gallery owner, Giovanni (John) Castano, including correspondence, legal material, subject files, notes, writings, financial material, photographs, a scrapbook, and printed material.
Included are biographical information about Castano, business correspondence with dealers, museums, clients, collectors, artists, art historians, and others, and some personal correspondence, including a letter from Rome, 1876, from an unidentified writer to an unidentified woman containing a detailed description of a painting in the Barberini, and correspondence related to Castano's work as a scenic artist, 1924-1931. Subject files contain mainly correspondence and lists of work, and relate to Italian Renaissance exhibition, 1938, the Heeramaneck Collection of Persian and Indian Art, a Boldini exhibition, Arthur C. Goodwin, 1945-1952, and a Mancini-Sargent exhibition, 1951.
Financial material includes records of expenses and income; account books; employees' weekly wage book; records of purchases and sales of art work, including part of a bill for a painting by Diaz paid by Knoedler and Co., 1890; appraisals done for individuals, estates and institutions, including the Gorham Corporation, Harvard University murals, the Mrs. T. Morris Murray estate, furnishings of William M. Paxton's studio, ca. 1941, and paintings by Edmund Tarbell, and others; consignments; priced auction catalogs of the Henry F. Sears estate, the Mary A.H. Traiser estate, and miscellaneous price lists.
Also included are a card file on paintings; lists of paintings; inventories; client cards; address and appointment books; mailing lists; gallery journals, 1936-1927; descriptions and notes on paintings and authentications; biographies of artists; writings by and about Castano; and notes by Churchill Wyman on Philip Hale's anatomy lectures.
Photographs are of Castano, his work, artists at work, and various works of art. Original art work consists of sketches for a logo designed by Suzanne Chapman. Included in the exhibition related material is a catalog for Castano's posthumous exhibition.
Also included is a scrapbook containing announcements, clippings on the gallery and Castano, exhibition catalogs, and biographical material compiled by Castano's longtime secretary.
Among the correspondents are: Philip Beam, Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., Gibson Danes, Franz Denghasusen, Lloyd Goodrich (Whitney Museum of American Art), Isabella Grandin, Lilian W. Hale, Philip Hofer (Fogg Art Museum), Perry T. Rathbone (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Edgar P. Richardson (Detroit Institute of Arts), Paul J. Sachs (Fogg), and Lionello Venturi.

Biographical/Historical Note

Art gallery, Boston, Mass. Founded in 1931 by Giovanni Castano, also known as John Castano. Castano attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, where he was an assistant to Philip Hale. He was a scenic artist for the Boston Opera Company and for the Grand Opera in Cincinnati, Ohio. During the Depression, he returned to Boston where he opened a gallery on Newbury Street specializing in European and American paintings, acted as an agent for Wildenstein and Co., and restored paintings. The gallery had numerous exhibitions of the "Boston School," including A.C. Goodwin, Winslow Homer, Philip Hale, Edmund C. Tarbell, William Paxton and others. The gallery occupied several Newbury St. locations. From 1975 until his death, Castano operated it from his home in Needham.


Lent for microfilming by Elvira Castano Palmerio, Castano's daughter, 1988.

Language Note

A small portion of letters are in Italian, some with English translations.

Location of Originals

  • Originals returned to the lender, Elvira Castano Palmerio, after microfilming.

How to Use This Collection

Alternative Forms Available

35mm microfilm reels 4827-4856 available at AAA offices and through interlibrary loan.

Restrictions on Access

The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.

How to Cite This Collection

Castano Galleries records, 1907-1983. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.